English National Ballet's Emerging Dancer Award has become a highly anticipated annual event, especially since the company started live-streaming the performance around the world. The competition, which is between six up-and-coming dancers from ENB's junior ranks, is often a good predictor of bigger things to come—past winners include ENB principal Shiori Kasi and first soloist Junor Souza, as well as exiting principal Cesar Corrales, who will join Royal Ballet as a first soloist next season.
This year's competition took place Monday. Finalists Precious Adams, Fernando Carratalá Coloma, Giorgio Garrett, Daniel McCormick, Francesca Velicu and Connie Vowles performed their hearts out for a live audience at the London Colosseum, each dancing a classical pas de deux and variation, as well as a contemporary solo. (Read more about the finalists here).
After some deliberation, the judges announced company artist and San Francisco native Daniel McCormick as this year's Emerging Dancer Award winner. "It was incredibly hard to pick a winner but the judges felt that Daniel had that little bit extra," says artistic director Tamara Rojo in a statement. "He's special, he has a hunger to continue to learn, an openness to all the different styles English National Ballet has, and such courage as a young dancer to put himself out there." The evening also saw Georgia Bould receive the Corps de Ballet Award, acknowledging her hard work onstage and off; Alice Bellini won the People's Choice Award, an honor given through a public vote. Congratulations to all!